Why Bringing Back the Windows Start Menu Will Help Microsoft Stock

Legions of XP holdouts could be enticed to modernize with the return of the Windows “Start” menu in the newest version of the operating system.

Apr 4, 2014 at 10:39PM

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is bringing back the Windows "Start" menu in the newest version of the operating system, TechCrunch reports. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains why it's a smart move in the following video.

First, the change comes at a good time. Microsoft plans to stop supporting Windows XP machines next week, which means -- without an upgrade -- upwards of 15% of the worldwide installed base of Microsoft-powered PCs could be at risk as of April 8. Adding back the Windows "Start" menu gives those on the fence yet another reason to move to the latest edition now.

Meanwhile, those who've been with Windows for years are being actively enticed to cheaper options, such as Ubuntu Linux. Call it a tough squeeze in an already-tightening market. Researcher IDC says PC shipments fell 9.8% last year and should continue to decline through 2018.

There's also the cloud to consider.  And Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) increasingly beefy line of cheap Chromebooks, which the company is outfitting with free or cheap productivity software. Giving longtime Windows users a taste of the familiar may curtail defections as new CEO Satya Nadella figures out a strategy for stabilizing the $18 billion a year Windows business.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you like Microsoft's move to bring back the Windows "Start" menu in version 8.1? Do you think it'll make a difference? Please leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google (A and C shares) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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